When it was announced that Gears of War 3 was pushed back from its original April release date until September 20, you could almost hear the collective groan of Xbox 360 users around the world. Of course, it was somewhat offset by the snickers of PS3 gamers, who were then silenced by a nod towards the much delayed Gran Turismo 5. Delays are a fact of life in the video game industry. GT5 was eventually released, Gears of War 3 is looking solid for a September release and Epic Games are preparing to host the most anticipated beta of the year (at least until the next “most anticipated beta of the year” is announced).
The beta will begin on April 18 for the select few that purchased the Bulletstorm Epic Edition for the Xbox 360. They will have a few days to themselves on the dedicated servers before the beta opens on April 25 to everyone that pre-ordered Gears of War 3. It ends on May 15.
Along with the access, you have the chance to unlock certain items that can then be used in the full version when it is released. The following unlockable items are:
• Flaming Hammerburst
Complete one match by Sunday, April 24 to permanently unlock.
• Flaming Lancer
Complete one match during the week of April 25 to permanently unlock.
• Flaming Sawed-Off Shotgun
Complete one match during the week of May 2 to permanently unlock.
• Flaming Gnasher Shotgun
Complete one match during the week of May 9 to permanently unlock.
• Beta Tester Medal — Wear it proudly, Gear.
Complete one match in the Beta to permanently unlock.
• Thrashball Cole — Unlock Thrashball Cole to play as Augustus Cole as he was before Emergence Day — a legendary Thrashball athlete known for his ferocious, flamboyant style.
Complete 50 matches in any game type to unlock for the Beta period. To permanently unlock, complete 10 matches as Thrashball Cole during the Beta period.
• Gold-Plated Retro Lancer — Before the chainsaw bayonet was deployed at the beginning of the Locust-Human War, the original Lancer assault rifle had a large fixed blade.
Complete 90 matches in any game type to unlock for the Beta period. To permanently unlock, score 100 kills with the Gold-Plated Retro Lancer during the Beta period.
When the beta first begins, players will be introduced to the new Team Deathmatch game mode. It is your standard deathmatch just like you have played in too many games to count, but with a twist. Each team has a pool of lives to draw from, and the game ends when one team has been totally wiped out. Capture the Leader and King of the Hill will both be introduced sometime during the beta.
For more details about the multiplayer, including a sneak peak at what to expect, check out the video below, which features the developers discussing the Gears of War 3 multiplayer.
But the biggest question regarding Gears of War 3 is something we won’t be able to answer until the game is released. Will Carmine survive?! Look for Gears of War 3 as an Xbox 360 exclusive on September 20 to find out.